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How to visit Yosemite from Angels Camp

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Jan 20th, 2007, 12:19 PM
  #1
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How to visit Yosemite from Angels Camp

We are from the midwest and have never been to this area before and would like to take at least a long day to try to do Yosemite, but it's hard trying to figure it out. We'll be there at the end of July--the heat won't bother us--we're used to it.
I think it's about a 3 hour drive from Angels Camp to the park. I have considered getting a room in the park for a night and the best I can do is Wawona without a bath. (We're campers so we can handle it.)

I'm wondering about the "tours" that are offered in the park. I see on the website that they have little trams that take you around which looks perfect for what we want to do. I know there will be crowds and we would try to get reservations up to a week in advance which is what they suggest.

Is it do-able to drive there, catch a tram tour etc for the day and drive back? We are good travelers and can handle long days, or do we really need to spend a night there?

Thanks Ruth
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Jan 20th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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Dear Ruth:

Angel's Camp is an easy day trip to Yosemite. No need to overnight. Plus the Wawona would not be "on your way" It is on Hwy. 41 head back towards Fresno. If you do want to spend the night though, stay in the village on the valley floor.

Where are you staying in Angel's Camp? Where else are you going?

MY
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Jan 20th, 2007, 02:54 PM
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The tram tour of the valley is fun. You get to see quite a bit and the rangers have a lot of information to share. With just one day, I'd take the tour soon after arrival, then go back and see a few places in more detail.

Another option would be to rent bikes for a few hours and ride around - driving in the car will be troublesome with the traffic and on a bike you can cover more ground than on foot, so you will make the most of your time.

If you can overnight though, I would definitely recommend it.
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Jan 20th, 2007, 03:18 PM
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As MichellyY said, you can do this as a day trip but it's still going to take some time driving there and back. Take Hwy 49 to Moccasin and then Hwy 120 into the park. This route is 60 miles to the Big Oak Flat entrance station and 82 miles to Yosemite Valley. Plan on at least 2 hours to get from Angels Camp to the Valley.

I'd still try and get lodging in the Valley. Call 10 days before you need the lodging and see if you can get in on a cancellation. You can also keep trying incase someone cancels early.

Utahtea
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Jan 20th, 2007, 04:30 PM
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Thanks for the info. Very helpful. I like the bikes idea. Do the paths actually "go somewhere"? Or do you share the road? Are there huge hills? Do you think we'd have to make reservations in advance for bikes or are they plentiful?

If it's just 2 hours, that's pretty manageable. My hubby is a great driver. We went to Phoenix at New Years and drove to the Grand Canyon on a day trip. (That was 3 hours each way!)

We are staying in Angel's Camp at the Worldmark resort. We have a Marriott timeshare that we traded. We are also going to spend a week in San Francisco at the Marriott there. So we are hoping to do some outdoor type things here and will get our urban fix the next week.

Luckily this is a 3 bedroom condo. We have 2 teenage girls and they can each have their own space. We travel alot but with a week in one hotel room, everyone gets a little cranky.

I don't know what else we'll do exactly. I see that there's a lake nearby. We'll probably rent a boat. My hubby and one daughter like to fish. We'll go to some caves, see some big trees at the nearby national park, take in some wineries and maybe do a long day trip up to Tahoe. Are you familiar with the area?

Thanks for the great info. Ruth
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Jan 20th, 2007, 05:29 PM
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The bike paths in Yosemite are bike/walk paths. You have to cross roads, but you don't share the path with vehicles, except maybe a shuttle bus on the path around to Happy Isle & Mirror Lake. I believe there are 20 miles of biking paths. It looks like on the map that the bike and road share the same path...but the bike path is just near the road at those points.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisi...leymap1000.gif

We always bring our own bikes, so I don't know about renting. There are a few hills, but nothing that bad. It's pretty level in the valley. You won't be able to ride the rental bikes all the way up to Mirror Lake...I'm pretty sure they have a restriction on those up there...but not positive. That is a pretty hard hill to climb.

Please make sure you spend some time and go up Hwy 4 to Calaveras Big Trees State Park. This is one of my favorite places to visit while in the area.

http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=551

Lake Alpine is a little farther up on Hwy 4 and it's a beautiful little mountain lake. I'm pretty sure you can rent a boat up there. We've gone fishing and swimming up there.

You are in the heart of the Gold Country in Angles Camp and there's plenty of history in the area.

Utahtea
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Jan 20th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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Utahtea

thanks so much for the great info. So they really are just called "big" trees? They look awesome.
I found the website for Lake Alpine and it looks so beautiful! I can't wait to go there. Although my hubby is a powerboat kinda guy, maybe he'll slow down a bit on vacation and go for a kayak. I don't think I've ever been to a lake at 7500 feet altitude. (When you live at sea level, life can be pretty boring.)

Ruth
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Jan 20th, 2007, 08:40 PM
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You'll find LOTS to do w/i an hour of Angels Camp (not counting the 2 hour trip down to Yosemite).

Just north of Angel's Camp is the really wonderful Amador county wine region. And just east is Columbia State historic park. Every little village along hwy 49 is full of gold rush era bldgs, cafes/restaurants and antique shops.

And do not worry one bit about the heat. It may get hot but will be nothing like what you experience in the midwest. Even if it gets up to 100F it won't feel as hot as 80-85 in most other parts of the country. Out here the humidity actually goes down as the temps go up. So instead of 90 w/ 80% or higher humidity, you will have 90 w/ 18 or 19%. We don't even consdier it warm until temps hit about 90, 95.
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Jan 20th, 2007, 11:34 PM
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Dear Ruth:

You've gotten great advice so far!! Murphy's is very near Angels Camp and has the Ironstone Winery.

I thought you were probably staying at Worldmark, that's why I asked. We are WM owners but haven't stayed at Angels Camp. I've read on the WM site that it is very nice. You might want to check out the Worldmark website for reviews and activity ideas:

http://worldmarktheclub.com/
Go to the WM forums for info.

Utahtea: great to have you back on the board!!!

Have a great trip,

MY
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Jan 21st, 2007, 01:02 PM
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Big Tree is a local name for giant sequoias, they are also called Sierra Redwoods. Same trees found in Sequoia National Park. There are two groves at Calaveras, the easy to get to North Grove, a mile or two trail with signs and named trees. The South Grove is another 8 miles drive into the park, then a mile hike before you reach the grove. Then a three mile loop through the south half of the South Grove. There's a trail guide pamphlet, keyed to natural features along the way. There are plenty of sequoias,

They're also found at the Mariposa Grove near Wawona at Yosemite. There's a tram there that goes around the grove, about an hour or so, and you can get off and catch the next one anywhere on the way.

Calaveras would be easier to get to from Angels Camp, so if you only do day trips you'd want to go there. Could be combined with trips to local wineries, or a drive farther up Hwy 4 through dense forest of large trees, not Big Trees but still impressive sugar pines, ponderosa pines, cedars and firs. Eventually the road narrows and you reach Lake Alpine where there's a restaurant and fishing. From there you enter the alpine zone on a very narrow steep road.
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Jan 21st, 2007, 02:09 PM
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Dear Ruth:

If you do want to do an overnight, you could head up Hwy. 4 or 108 to US 395. You could see the ghost town of Bodie, Mono Lake and spend the night in Bridgeport perhaps. Then head over Tioga Pass into Yosemite. Very spectacular!!

Good luck,

MY
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